Note: I apologize for my spotty postings and comments on Retro. I have been experiencing health problems lately and was in hospital last week. My health is improving but I need to save my energy for healing. I hope to continue writing on prompts that are new for me and about which I have something to contribute.
Then came the part I was dreading. Where do I go to wait for my road test?
Illinois was one of the few states that required seniors to take a road test when renewing their driver’s license. This stuck terror in the hearts for people I know who are over 75, including me. Would I have to back up in a straight line? Parallel park? Filled with trepidation, I made a “senior” appointment at the DMV, which meant I wouldn’t have to stand in line with nervous 16-year-olds. After taking my photo, I was seated in the section for old folks. I had already filled out most of the information online and had a letter from my eye doctor stating my driving vision was fine. Then came the call I dreaded, “Next.”
I had already scoped out the clerks and there was only one who seemed to be unpleasant. Of course, he ended up being mine. He grumbled about how my filling things out online made his job harder, but I had all of the required paperwork with me, so he passed me. Then came the part I was dreading. Where do I go to wait for my road test?
You don’t have to take it. What? Seems that since COVID had shut everything down, someone decided there weren’t enough employees to do the road tests. So, I was granted a reprieve until age 79.
But wait. Things got even better. Statistically it seems seniors have fewer accidents than any other age group. Perhaps that’s why most states don’t bother with the road tests after 16-year-olds pass theirs. And some kind soul at the state DMV decided to try an experiment – a separate seniors-only facility. And one of the two pilot sites is located in my city of Evanston. When my husband went, not only did he not have to take the road test, but the place was totally user friendly. Someone guided people to the right room in City Hall and pointed out the handicap entrance if needed. The people were super-helpful and accommodating. No computer pre-registration was necessary. He was finished in 15 minutes.
Most of the time, things are harder for older people. For example, the Continuing Education at Northwestern University hired a new vendor for online registration that turned the process into a labyrinth for the very age group it serves. Former log-ins were no longer recognized. Changing passwords, a requirement, was very difficult. It took me hours to complete the process and many “lifelong learners” could not manage the new system. So, when someone actually thinks about what seniors need and makes it user-friendly, I’m very grateful. Bravo to the Illinois DMV!
Boomer. Educator. Advocate. Eclectic topics: grandkids, special needs, values, aging, loss, & whatever. Author: Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real.